Celebrating the IV Centenary of Murillo’s birth

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo is beyond doubt one of the most famous painters from Seville in the history of art. This year, Seville commemorates the 400th anniversary of his birth. It is the perfect time to learn about Murillo’s footprint on the city and to enjoy a broad program of related activities.

Murillo and Seville in the 17th century

Rarely have a painter and a city arrived at such a mutual recognition as did Murillo and Seville. This was so not just because the painter was born in Seville, but more importantly because his art dug its roots deep into the culture and character of the city in that period. Anchoring his work in this city was one of the principle reasons for Murillo’s success in his time. The Sevillian character of his works also contributed to later recognition. 

Another extremely important dimension of Murillo’s work is its international appeal. In fact, many of his paintings adorn the walls of some of the top art galleries in the world. One of his masterpieces, El Jubileo de la Porcíuncula, has returned to Seville from Cologne, Germany, to be restored and exhibited this year in the Museo de Bellas Artes. During the Baroque period, Murillo’s far-reaching influence in the world demonstrated the cultural influence that Seville carried at the time. Other painters, too, like Velázquez and Valdés Leal, signaled the city’s importance. This centenary year is the ideal time to relive the rich extravagance of baroque Seville.

Seville, the innovative look

Throughout this year, Seville will commemorate Murillo’s history in style. Eight exhibitions, various music series, and special tours mapping significant places in the life of Murillo are just some of the outstanding events on offer. In addition, there will be lectures, audiovisual presentations, research projects, and an international conference, all of which will highlight the importance of the Sevillian painter. You can find the full listing of events at www.murilloysevilla.org

Murillo was a pioneer in the art of capturing the life of the city streets – in this case Seville – as the main subject of a composition.

Murillo’s legacy

Seville has many sites of interest that help to understand the life and work of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Here are a few of them:

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At the Church of the Magdalena, you can see the baptismal font where he was baptized. 

The Museo de Bellas Artes has an impressive collection of Murillo’s work.

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In the center of the Plaza del Museo, there is a large statue dedicated to Murillo’s memory.

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The Hospital de La Caridad has special links to Murillo. 

To keep in mind...
  1. In the heart of Barrio Santa Cruz you can find Murillo’s house: Casa Murillo.
  2. The Museo de Bellas Artes is the second most important art gallery in Spain. 
  3. Murillo’s paintings are the foundation of religious painting as we know it today. 
  4. Murillo composed more than twenty paintings of Mary Immaculate.